Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Meeting NYC Urban Sketcher Mark Leibowitz

On September 27, 2015 I had the joy and privilege of meeting up with the New York City urban sketching group (NYC USk) in Brooklyn Heights on Sunday September 27, 2015.

A highlight of this meetup for me was meeting Mark Leibowitz. Mark is the regional administrator for the NYC USk (which meets usually twice weekly making it one of the most active groups in the world!)

At the 2015 Urban Sketchers Symposium in Singapore last July, Mark was a member of the faculty and delivered Lecture 3: How to Run a Successful Local Urban Sketchers Group.

For a FB photo of Mark delivering his lecture at USk Singapore 2015, visit https://www.facebook.com/urbansketchers/posts/10153966291368912

Mark and I discussed starting an official Ottawa Urban Sketchers group. I talked about the great group of Ottawa artists/sketchers who participated all summer in the "Ottawa Alley project" and how it had culminated in an art show in an alley called "Forgotten Spaces". Mark loved that!

And I spoke to Mark about the 48th Worldwide sketchcrawl that I organized in Ottawa on July 25th, 2015

I talked about how much I loved the sketch organizing model that the NYC USk had built:

  • anyone who sketches in New York City is welcome. Even visitors to NYC like me!
  • a reminder is posted: "There are no fees or attendance taken. All drawing skill levels are welcome"
  • announcements of sketch meetups are posted in both the google group and on the group blog
  • the announcements of sketch meetups are in clear language with maps and photos and contact information (to see what I mean, check out the "SUNDAY: Sketch Brooklyn Heights" announcement here: http://nyc.urbansketchers.org/2015/09/sunday-sketch-brooklyn-heights.html
  • anyone can organize/post a sketch outing
  • anyone can contribute posts to the group blog
  • folks are encouraged to share their sketches to the blog, or flickr group

Mark is a member of the USk Membership Committee and he has kindly offered to help us establish an official Ottawa regional chapter and I am looking forward to working on this with him and the other artists here in Ottawa.

Me and Mark Leibowitz
When I finally settled down to sketch, I knew there was very little time left. I knew I wanted to sketch the iconic vista of the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline and all the way to the majestic Brooklyn Bridge and that was going to take a full two page spread in my art journal so I took a seat on the park bench and got busy sketching.

And here is my sketch of the Manhattan skyline from the Brooklyn Heights promenade. For the sky I saturated my art journal with water and then dropped in some pthalo blue (PB15) to get the beautiful wisps of clouds in the sky. I had so much fun sketching this and wish I could have continued sketching the "rows of historic 19th century brownstones, leafy streets, lush gardens and charming dead-end alleyways" all the way down Montague Street in the afternoon.

My sketch of  Manhattan from the Brooklyn Heights promenade
This "Manhattan skyline" sketch above and a sketch of my daughter having coffee with me Whole Foods at 97/Columbus are the only sketches I did in accordance with the Urban Sketchers manifesto (see below). The other ten pages in my art journal were sketched from iPhone photos while I was there (and stopped for coffee or relaxing with morning coffee at our Morningside Heights airbnb)

I will post my other sketches in seperate blog posts later.

I really need a few weeks (not four days) in NYC to do everything I love to do in NYC! I can't wait for our next trip!

NYC USk Links:

Urban Sketchers Manifesto